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Apple’s iCloud vs. iCloud Plus: What Are the Differences?

Have you been wondering about iCloud vs. iCloud Plus. Here’s a look at what’s different about each Apple plan.

What’s iCloud vs. iCloud Plus? Probably not what you think.

This fall, Apple plans on enhancing the paid iCloud tiers it offers, rebranding them iCloud Plus (or iCloud+). No, this won’t give you more storage or let you back up your entire Mac drive in the cloud. And yet, iCloud Plus is packed with some significant new features, and best of all, they won’t cost you any more money. Here’s a look at the differences between the current iCloud service and upcoming iCloud Plus offerings.

A Name Change and More

First introduced a decade ago, iCloud is Apple’s cloud storage and cloud computing service. The only difference between a free iCloud account that everyone gets when purchasing an Apple device and the paid iCloud plans is cloud storage. However, beginning this fall, anyone with a paid iCloud account will see their service rebranded iCloud Plus. For this, besides the new name, paying customers will also receive a few new features.

iCloud Plus: What’s New

Announced by Apple at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), iCloud Plus will arrive on the upcoming macOS Monterey, iOS 15, and iPadOS 15 software updates for Mac, iPhone, and iPad, respectively. With iCloud Plus, paid iCloud account holders will receive Hide My Mail, Private Relay, and custom email domains. In addition, HomeKit Secure Video will also make an appearance for those with equipment that supports it.

iCloud vs. iCloud Plus: Apple Privacy

Hide My Mail

To better combat marketers and scammers alike, Hide My Mail lets you use temporary Apple email messages when using Mail and Safari. Messages sent to these addresses are automatically sent to your main email address.

Hide My Mail is ideally suited for those times when you’re asked to fill out an online form or sign up for a newsletter.

What can you do once you get tired of receiving promotional material being sent to the temporary account? Delete it.

Private Relay

Another new security feature, Private Relay, works as a virtual private network, allowing you to use Safari privately. When turned on, the service encrypts the traffic leaving your device and uses two separate internet relays, so no one knows your location, IP address, and browsing activity.

Custom Email Domains

With an iCloud Plus account, you’ll be able to personalize your iCloud email address using custom email domains. In doing so, you’ll also be able to invite family members to use the same domain with their iCloud Mail accounts.

HomeKit Secure Video

Finally, Apple’s adding end-to-end encryption on video taken from HomeKit-compatible cameras. The encryption means only you (and anyone you invite to) can view the video. Better still, video stored in the cloud doesn’t count against your iCloud storage limit.

iCloud: Features

The list of free features in iCloud remains even after the introduction of iCloud Plus. The service offers various features, including Find My, iCloud Photos, iCloud Drive, and much more.

iCloud vs. iCloud Plus: Prices

The new rebranding hasn’t changed the prices on the four offered plans. They are:

  • Everyone receives a free iCloud account that includes 5GB of iCloud storage.
  • For $0.99/month, you can get an iCloud Plus account with 50GB of storage.
  • You can get 200GB of iCloud storage, which you can share with your Apple Family, for $2.99/month.
  • Finally, the iCloud Plus (2TB) tier costs $9.99/month, including Family Sharing.

What About Apple One?

The 200GB and 2TB iCloud Plus accounts are also rolled into the Apple One Family and Apple One Premium offerings, respectively. In addition, you can purchase additional iCloud storage separately to supplement what’s included with your Apple One plan.

iCloud vs. iCloud Plus: When

Apple’s likely to release the first public versions of iOS 15 and iPadOS in September, following by an October release of macOS Monterey. Remember: Your paid iCloud account will automatically update to an iCloud Plus account once those software updates arrive.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Theodore Redinbo

    If I have 200 GB of I Cloud storage now, and my wife shares her storage on her phone, how will cloud plus change this as this info above doesn’t explain this at all, I’m only using I cloud on my two phones, I believe? Please clear this up.
    Thank you.

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